Emirates Airlines have banned the transportation of hunting trophies on all its services effective Friday, 15 May 2015.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) confirmed with Emirates SkyCargo that the ban affects the transportation of trophies of elephant, rhinoceros, lion and tiger. It follows shortly after the steps of South African Airways which last month banned all transportation of the same trophies.
"This is a bold move by the world's biggest international carrier," said Dr Elsayed Mohamed, Middle East regional director for IFAW. "Emirates have taken an important and responsible step in showing they are serious about wildlife conservation. We value their decision and look forward to other national airlines in the Gulf region to follow their lead."
In another show of the region's commitment to ending the scourge of poaching and illegal wildlife trade, the UAE last month became the Middle East's first country to destroy its ivory stockpile, crushing more than 10 tonnes of ivory.
Saving wildlife heritage
A statement by Emirates SkyCargo said the decision to stop transporting hunting trophies was to support international governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations that are managing wild populations towards sustaining the task to eliminate illegal trade and the transportation of hunting trophies worldwide and saving wildlife heritage.
Emirates SkyCargo handles the cargo needs of all Emirates services, including its passenger services. The ban prevents carriage of hunting trophies on all the airline's services. Emirates connect to 120 destinations in more than 70 countries.
"As one of the world's most lucrative criminal activities, valued at $19bn annually, illegal wildlife trade ranks among damaging and dangerous global crimes such as trafficking in drugs, people, oil and counterfeiting," said Dr Mohamed.
"The move by Emirates to impose an embargo without exception on the transportation of elephant, rhinoceros, tigers and lion trophies, helps prevent the possibility of hunting trophies and wildlife contraband being shipped illicitly, by removing the 'grey area' between legal and illegal," he said.
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